The Coming Storm: A Novel

The Coming Storm: A Novel

by Paul Russell
4.5 12

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Coming Storm 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read lots of books, many of them gay-themed (it was in fact my job to read), but none of them had quite prepared me for this sensitive and frank treatment of a taboo subject, which (taking into account his earlier book on the same theme--Boys of Life) turns out to be Russell's pet theme: pederasty. Russell did a really good job of sneaking four believable points of view (charactes with their own histories, loves, secret, and fears) on you unaware--from the slow opening pages to a brisk one half way through, he sensuously teases you with what you know is going to happen, the unspoken no-no, and before you know it, it's there, right before you, breathtakingly honest, graphic, and yes, thrilling. The real thrill of all, though is the realization that Tracy and Noah are both sympathetic and very human--no cheap shots at clichés here--so you have this tug-of-war of sympathy going on in the reader's mind as to which to identify with, which to blame, which to side with; but no, Russell doesn't let you off lightly--he keeps piling it on and before you know it you like Noah's father too with his quirky but ultimately loveable ways and steers the novel to a very strong bittersweet, uncompromising farewell note. So, in all, I really like this book and would read it again and again for the sheer beauty of its language and presentation and delineation of character. My only qualm with the book is the too bestseller-like structure of plotting towards the end--like it has to get all resolved like a soap opera or something; and it happened too quikly too--there were lapses and unexpressed feelings that would have been nice to indulge in, especially those involving Arthur and Louis' relationship; Russell seems to be using kid gloves when handling Louis' repressed desires--I guess he's afraid of coming on too strong and pressing the point too hard, but I don't think he need have worried: the titles is the Coming Storm after all, why not have at it with all he's got? Make is a real class whatever storm--a tornado, a blizzard. Also, one more thing--Louis and Claire are not as human as the other two leads--they are a bit steeped in cliché--too repressed sometimes and yet too open and accepting at others that the seamlessness of their characters are almost on the point of falling apart towards the end. It seems that Russell is on much surer footing with the true protagonists Tracy (great name!) and Noah and the real pet theme: young man/boy love and he just put Claire and Louis there to balance the thing out, pare it down, and provide support for the ending that would otherwise have to be tragic. The one adult who doesn't have much time in the spotight but who comes through convincingly and shiningly is Reid--larger-than-life yet life-like in every way. In him, Ruseell has a truly inspired creation. On the whole, this is a great book--a wonderful achievement, very complex, very dense an
brnyc More than 1 year ago
Well written, a very enjoyable reading experience. A bit of a Lolita type novel, with well written characters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Noah will win your heart, big-time. And when the novel ends, Noah's last, bittersweet scene with Tracey's old beagle, Betsy, will genuinely hurt. This is a skillfully woven, many textured novel that gives us well-drawn characters and their points of view, from Louis and Claire Tremper (Headmaster and wife at Forge School) to Tracey Parker (naive English teacher) and Noah Lathrop (his not-so-naive English student). While Russell's characters are crisply alive and ultimately attractive, he seems to have been drawn himself to the complex if immature Noah, and the obvious tenderness and affection with which author Paul Russell treats the boy and with which he finally writes him out of his story is touching all by itself. I get the impression the author, in his heart, did not want to let his boy go like this. When you finish this harrowing, haunting tale of love on many levels, I think you'll want to see these characters again. The book cries out for a sequel: What of Reid and Libby? Can they find happiness now? Hell, can they ever even find each other again? Will Louis reconnect with Arthur? What will be the fate of the Gay Student Alliance at Forge School? Will Professor Brill replace Louis? Will Claire find a way to save herself and Libby? And the million-dollar question: Is there any way Tracey and Noah could come together again? You will care about these characters. A great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story enjoyed reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book had a profond influence on my life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Paul Russell's finest work to date! Although the storyline of forbidden love is an old one, Russell's character development is powerful and sensitive at the same time. Who hasn't ever felt the torture of the love that couldn't be? Whether you're gay or straight, these characters will remain in your memory for a long time. I really hated to see this book end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Another beautifully entrancing book by one of my favorite authors. Although each of the four main characters have such different viewpoints, there is something to learn and relate to from each of them. The characters are so compelling and real that I really didn't want the book to come to an end. There is really something for everyone in this book, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, regardless of their age or sexual orientation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A brilliantly realized and entertaining read. This novel is by turns thought provoking, funny, hearbreaking and sensual. Infused with sexual tension, the characters are fully dimensional and utterly realistic. As we read through the novel we are stunned with the shock of recognition as we are made aware of our own often hidden conflicts about sexuality, loyalty, and love . Highly recommended. One of the best books I have read this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plz wait for it!